the history,, both of England and the world. Only the future would show
whether he was right in turning on that road, as Sir Eyre Crowe had put it
cc paved with graceful concessions—concessions made without any con-
viction of justice or counter-services." And the first of these concessions
was to be the abandonment of friends., Allies.
Alastair Forbes in the Daily Mail drew a remarkable picture of the
events at Teheran:
" I had an uneasy vision of a large balloon carrying in its basket Marshal
Stalin., President Roosevelt, and the Prime Minister.
" The balloon's course was erratic, and it appeared also to be losing height.
However, Marshal Stalin stood up and was soon in command of the situation.
"As he addressed his two companions, I though I heard him saying that
if the balloon continued to lose altitude he would have to bale out, but it
would be preferable first to throw overboard some of the valuable cargo.
"Accordingly, Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt began, a little reluctantly,
perhaps, to heave over the side some cases variously labelled "Atlantic
Charter," " Democracy," " Old Friends and Allies," " Four Freedoms,"
etc. After which the balloon began to gain height again, but appeared to
be travelling backwards."
The outcome of the conference was announced in communiques,
meaningless in their gist and ornamented with the phraseology of the
Kremlin. A few weeks after the Teheran meeting, the British Parlia-
ment, more from presentiment than realisation of the dimensions of the
disaster, demanded a debate on the Atlantic Charter. The Government
pleaded with Parliament to adjourn the discussion sine die.
General Smuts, the South African Premier., gave the most dramatic
account of the events at Teheran. His speech at the end of November,
1943, sounded almost like a cry of despair.
" We are, therefore, left with Great Britain and Russia. Russia is the
new colossus in Europe—the new colossus that bestrides this continent . . .
with the others down and out and herself the mistress of the continent, her
power will not only be great on that account, but it will be still greater because
the Japanese Empire will also have gone the way of all flesh, and, therefore,
any check or balance that might have arisen in the East will have disappeared.
You will see Russia in a position which no country has ever occupied in the
history of Europe.
" Then you will have this country of Great Britain, with a glory and an
honour and a prestige such as perhaps no nation has ever enjoyed in history,
recognised as possessing a greatness of soul that has entered into the very
substance of world history. But from a material, economic point of view,
she will be a poor country . . . she will have won (the battle) but she will
come out of it poor in substance.
"... You will have two partners of immense power and resources—Russia
and America. And you will have this island, the heart of the Empire and
of the Commonwealth, weak in her European resources in comparison with
the vast resources of the other two. An unequal partnership, I am afraid ..,"